China's Foreign Ministry says the country's top diplomat has called on the United States, during online talks with a US envoy, to work toward improving bilateral ties.
Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party, held a virtual meeting with US special climate envoy John Kerry on Thursday.
Kerry is in the eastern Chinese port city of Tianjin.
The Chinese ministry said Yang told Kerry that Beijing is open to cooperation with the US on climate change. But the ministry added that Yang voiced Beijing's firm opposition to US interference in China's internal affairs. He said such US actions have put bilateral relations in serious difficulties.
The two nations are at loggerheads over issues such as Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The ministry said Yang also told Kerry that he hopes the US will rectify its wrong behavior and work with China to put their ties back on track at an early date.
Kerry has been urging China to expedite its efforts to cut its greenhouse gas emissions ahead of the UN climate conference known as COP 26, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.
However, China has been insisting that the US make concessions to mend their relations sufficiently for Beijing to cooperate on climate change.